Common Ground

Common Ground

Gathering at Common Ground - photo by Bill Monk

Church of the Common Ground is a spiritual community for the homeless in Atlanta. The intention of the Church of the Common Ground is and will always be to build relationships with those who live on the margins by being a consistent presence on the streets, simply to let them know they are loved.

Church of the Common Ground was born out of a ministry started in Boston by the Rev. Debbie Little in 1994. Her hope was to create an outdoor worship community in the heart of the city for those who were homeless, and even for those people who, for whatever reason, may have drifted from the traditional church. This community, which is called Common Cathedral, not only worships every Sunday, regardless of the weather, but it also provides pastoral care, an art and movie program, Bible study, and opportunities for teaching others who are called to this work.

In 2006, after experiencing Ecclesia in Boston, Pastor Bob Book and his wife, Holly, felt called to grow a similar ministry in Atlanta. In the fall of 2006, Church of the Common Ground was born and had its first Communion service in Woodruff Park on Christmas Eve. The community continues to worship in the park every Sunday at 1 p.m., despite mounting obstacles initiated by the city to keep the homeless out of this public space.

Pastor Bob and Holly left Church of the Common Ground in 2010. The Rev. Mary Wetzel now leads this ministry on Sundays. She also makes pastoral visits during the week to maintain a consistent presence on the streets, and to encourage deeper relationships.

While Church of the Common Ground is a spiritual community for the homeless, it is truly a church. This means that outreach is an important part of our mission. We invite groups to come worship with us on Sunday and bring bag lunches for our homeless friends. If you are interested in visiting us on a Sunday, please contact Deacon Carole Maddux.

To view more photos of Common Ground go to Bill Monk’s blog.

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